Frank Commentary

Are you willing to admit it? Will you stand up today? Were you right along with me?

I'm willing to admit it. I gave up. I quit. I took my ball home and I didn't want to play anymore.

I threw a tantrum that most three-year-olds would be proud of and I cursed. Boy did I curse. I cursed the refs, I cursed the offense, I cursed the defense, I cursed special teams, I cursed Charlie, I cursed John L, I cursed the rain, I cursed the heavens, I cursed the day I became an Irish fan…..boy, did I curse.

It had been 10 long years of being an Irish fan and I was ready to cash in my chips. I'd seen too many games like this……games where the inexplicable continues to happen and I just couldn't take it anymore. I flat quit.

Luckily the Irish had more fight, heart, will power and, yes, maturity than I had.

They didn't quit because they have far more invested in this than I ever will. They make the sacrifices; we just get to enjoy (or cry) the results. That's something we all need to remember next time we're throwing everyone under the bus, myself included.

Consider it a lesson learned. But I'll still be cursing next week.

All I can say is 'wow'!

Something needs to be said here and hopefully Irish fans will allow me to say it. While everyone is excited about seeing the real Brady Quinn again (me included), this win would not be possible without the outstanding play of the Irish defense in the second half. Yes, I said outstanding. Let's take a look.

Down 31-14 at the half, it was all up to the Irish defense to turn this game around, and they did just that.

With Michigan State receiving the second half kickoff, the Irish had to make a stand right away. Result? Three-and-out fueled by a tackle for loss on second down (Landri) and a sack on third down (Abiamiri).

The Irish offense then scored to make it 31-21.

The next series? Yep, the Irish forced another three-and-out series fueled by a Trevor Laws sack.

But the Irish offense stumbled on the following series when they clearly had the momentum and Michigan State responded with an impressive ground attack making it 37-21 with a shade over five minutes left in the third quarter. The only points the Irish defense would allow all half.

Once again the Irish offense sputtered on the very next series after the Michigan State score with their own three-and-out series and all hope looked lost.

With momentum now in Michigan State's hands, the Irish defense had to make a stand and they did just that.

Mike Richardson made a big hit on Stanton for a five-yard loss on third-and-14 giving the Irish a leg to stand on.

What happened next? You guessed it, another three-and-out for the Irish on offense.

Want to know how bad it looked at this point? Michigan State had a 16-point lead with 14:42 left to go on the clock and the ball at their own 42-yard line. Did any of you have hope at this time? I surely didn't.

But the Irish did. After two straight running plays that netted zero yards, Stanton went back to pass and was planted for a 15-yard sack by Derek Landri ending yet another MSU scoring threat.

What happened next? Quinn to Samardzija for a 43-yard touchdown and narrowing the lead 37-27.

The Spartans then took the ball with 8:12 left to go and a 10-point lead. Two more Michigan State rushes netted just one yard and then Chinedum Ndukwe ripped the ball out of Stanton's to give the Irish a chance with 6:10 left to go in the game.

Quinn to McKnight for a 14-yard touchdown made the score 37-33, but the Spartans would have the ball with 4:49 left to go and the Irish defense had to make another play. They did. Lambert picked off Stanton and returned it for a touchdown giving the Irish the 40-37 lead.

We all know what happened next. Lambert picked off Stanton again to ice the game.

If you're keeping score at home the Irish defense played out of their minds in the second half. Here's what happened.

First MSU series: Three-and out—tackle for loss, sack.

Second series: Three-and-out—sack.

Next series: Gave up a touchdown.

Next series: 4 plays; big sack on third down.

Next series: Three-and-out—big sack on third down

Next series: Big fumble recovery on third-and-nine.

Next series: Interception returned for touchdown on third down.

Next series: Interception to ice the game.

Folks, that was some impressive defense and the defense and Minter deserve a lot of credit for this win.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories